Amazon reported today that it earned a net income of $3.2 billion on revenues of $111 billion for the quarter ending September 30. It had earned revenues of $96 billion in the year-ago quarter.
“We’ve always said that when confronted with the choice between optimizing for short-term profits versus what’s best for customers over the long term, we will choose the latter,” Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said. “And you can see that during every phase of this pandemic. In the first several months of COVID-19, Amazonians played an essential role to help people secure the requisite PPE [personal protective equipment], food, and other in-demand items needed, and we worked closely with businesses and governments to leverage AWS to maintain business continuity as they responded to the pandemic.”
It’s not clear what any of that has to do with Amazon’s quarterly results, but let’s at least give Mr. Jassy credit for being as inscrutable as his predecessor. Certainly, the firm he runs hasn’t become any more transparent either: Its quarterly earnings announcement is full of nonsense that has little to do with financials or the performance of the business. But here are a few key takeaways:
Revenues rose 15 percent year-over-year, but net income was roughly half of what the firm delivered in the quarter last year.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) revenues grew 39 percent year-over-year, with revenues hitting $16.1 billion.
Amazon expects revenues in the current quarter to land between $130 billion and $140 billion, with growth of 4 to 12 percent YOY. Because of labor shortages, higher employee costs, global supply chain constraints, and increased freight and shipping costs, Mr. Jaffey said that he expects Amazon to take on an additional “several billion dollars” of extra costs this holiday quarter, CNBC reported.